The CBA calls for greater bilingual capacity of Superior and Appeal Court Judiciary

  • February 22, 2014

Ottawa — The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) affirms that bilingualism is an element of merit in the judicial appointment process and has adopted a resolution supporting equal access to justice for litigants, in their chosen official language.

The resolution urges the federal Minister of Justice (the “Minister”), among others:

  • To appoint an appropriate number of bilingual judges who have the necessary language skills to preside over cases in the minority official language;
  • To improve the language training program for the judiciary; and
  • To add a specific module on the language rights of litigants to, the current training program.

The CBA’s recommendations are based on the 10 measures described in the Official Languages Commissioners’ study entitled Access to Justice in Both Official Languages: Improving the Bilingual Capacity of the Superior Court Judiciary.

According to the study, “In a country that proudly claims linguistic duality as a fundamental value and a crucial part of its identity, no one should suffer delays and additional costs for having chosen to be heard in English or in French.” The study also urges the Minister to “take action in cooperation with the provincial and territorial ministers and the chief justices of Canada's superior courts and appeal courts.”

The resolution was debated and adopted at the 2014 Mid-Winter Meeting of the National Council, the CBA’s governing body.

The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law, and the administration of justice. Members include some 37,500 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada.

For accreditation and agenda details, please contact Hannah Bernstein at